Tokyo -- Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will provide real-time coverage of the 63rd running of the Le Mans 24 Hours race in France this weekend via a home page on the Internet. As the world's largest computer network, the Internet offers the advantage of interactive communication. This trial coverage of the Le Mans 24 Hours represents a technical effort to find effective ways of utilizing the Internet.
Coverage of the race will be carried out as a joint effort by Nissan, its affiliate Nissan Motorsports International (NISMO) and WIDE Project, an Internet research group in Japan. It will be facilitated with the cooperation of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the sponsor of the Le Mans 24 Hours, and Le Mans Institute of Technology. Technical cooperation concerning hardware, software and network aspects will be furnished by IBM Japan, Ltd., Sony Corp. and Sony Systems Design Inc.
The home page containing Le Mans information will be accessible through Nissan's World-Wide Web (WWW) server called "Rashinban." Visitor information on facilities around the race site is available starting today. Information on the trials will be added on June 14-15 and coverage of the race itself will be provided on June 17-18.
On these two days of the race, Internet terminals will be temporarily installed at seven Nissan and NISMO showrooms around Japan, including the Nissan Ginza Gallery (see list below). These terminals will support real-time provision of information on the race as it unfolds.
Nissan began providing information via its Rashinban server on a trial basis with the cooperation of Sony Corp. last December in conjunction with the release of the new Rasheen. Implemented as part of the Infoplaza resource of Sony's server, Rashinban has since attracted considerable attention as a novel medium for providing information on new models through the use of multimedia technology. At present, in addition to information on the Rasheen and GT-R models, a NISMO home page has also been created. As of the end of May, the Rashinban server had been accessed more than 500,000 times. In view of this expressed public interest, Nissan decided to proceed beyond the experimental stage and today launched its own Internet server with the aim of broadening the utilization of the Internet.
Nissan has also created a home page for the new Gloria/Cedric Hardtop models released yesterday and began providing information on these new cars today.